"This rotation is locked in and now you're going down."
Last night's game has been described by some as a typical ugly NCAA tourney game. Kansas always seems to have one. What you had in Kansas and Texas A&M was two teams playing physical, two teams that stepped up defensively and a game that wasn't necessarily Kansas at it's best. The important thing at the end of the day is that the Jayhawks won and Kansas secured the first prize of the year with a 7th consecutive conference championship.
Beyond that were there hints of what we'll see from this team come March? Specifically as it pertains to rotation, did coach Self begin to tip his hand a little more about his ultimate vision for this group? One thing is certain and that's the fact that Elijah Johnson continues to make a strong play in coach Self's mind when it comes to minutes.
"Elijah Johnson is going to start at point guard for us on Saturday. I thought that Elijah played great down the stretch. I thought that Tyshawn played really well the first half; he was our leading scorer and did some really good things. I feel comfortable playing them both. I think that Elijah, as long as he keeps doing what he is, deserves to start."
As for the rest of the rotation Coach Self played nine players that reached double digits in terms of minutes played. Markieff Morris, Tyrel Reed and Brady Morningstar all exceeded the 30 minute mark with Brady playing all but three minutes in the contest. That might be a bit skewed due to senior night but in general coach Self is big on trust and if you look closely at last night's rotation that becomes clear.
It's a strong bet at this point that the twins, Brady and Tyrel are set to start from here on out. Elijah, as coach says, has it until he loses it so we'll pencil him in for the fifth. Tyshawn most likely splits nearly equal time with Elijah making the starter not overly important, while Thomas Robinson is the third big in the rotation. Robinson's minutes probably depend on any foul trouble for the twins or how hot Thomas is during his time in the game.
That leaves you with two players that played a limited role last night in Mario Little and Josh Selby. Both are probably coming off the bench to provide a spark in certain scenario's, but the indication would be that the top seven are strong with eight and nine very much dependent on how the game is going.
This isn't to say that players like Jeff Withey and Travis Releford don't have a place, but at this point it would appear there biggest contributions to Kansas basketball are likely to be in the coming years.